We are all aware that we need to do more to live a greener, sustainable life, and we can do more in the garden to help the environment.
We’re all looking at the trends and tips for the new year for our gardens, and gardening experts Gareth Richards and Holly Farrell, authors of Do Bees Need Weeds? published in association with the RHS, say it’s time for us to do more for the environment.
We have some tips to help make a difference in the garden this year.
Cardboard packaging can be spread over bare soil to protect it against the bitterly cold winter rains and help suppress weeds. But make sure the cardboard hasn’t been treated with a shiny plastic laminate, as it will be harder to break down and compost and remember to remove any packaging tape.
Even when we’re being mindful about our grocery shopping, there will always be some food waste, but it is easy to make your own organic compost, and there are many ways to go about it, from bokashi bins’ which use friendly bacteria to break down any kind of food (including meat and dairy waste), to a traditional garden compost heap.
Make a new pond
If you have room in your garden, then a pond will help wildlife immensely, as well as being an attractive feature and a chance to grow different plants. Make sure there is a ramp from inside the pond so that amphibians, hedgehogs and the like can get out easily.
Re-use plastic pots
If you have a collection of black plastic plant pots in the shed, then be sure to re-use them as much as you can. Never throw away any perfectly usable pots. Many garden centres will take and recycle broken plastic plant pots too.
Use water sustainably
By making a few simple changes, we can make big steps towards water sustainability. Rainwater is better for plants than tap water, so install a water butt, which will also help save on your water bills.
Synthetic lawns do not require watering, which will save a lot of water, nor do they need mowing, or the use of weed killers and pesticides.
Grow your own
A plant-based diet is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint, and growing your own veg is a great way to ensure you have organic fresh veggies. Even during the winter months, you can grow microgreens on your windowsill for quick and tasty salad leaves. Try growing radish, beetroot, or coriander.
Enlist nature to help with pest control
Pesticides to get rid of garden pests such as aphids can be very damaging to the environment and can kill insects such as bees. Plant flowers that attract aphid killing wildlife, such as overflies and ladybirds and nature will do the pest control for you.
Daisy-type flowers such as marigolds and flat-topped flowers such as yarrow and fennel are all popular with beneficial insects. Blue tits are also fond of aphids – a bird feeder and other seed plants (they also love fennel) will encourage them to your garden year-round.
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